Homeowners with expired listings have a right to a bad attitude. They quite naturally don’t trust you, because their last agent failed to sell their homes. Maybe even after making some huge promises about a quick sale.
Most of the time, if a house didn’t sell, it is the agent’s fault. I realize that there are times, especially in the current market, when hardly anything is selling. But notice I said “hardly.” Some things are selling.
It positively isn’t the agent’s fault is when the homeowners simply owe too much for the market to bear and their lender refuses to allow a short sale.
There are also cases when a well kept, well-priced home doesn’t sell because of location or unusual features or some kind of stigma that makes buyers shy away. Perhaps there’s the rumor of a ghost, or maybe someone committed suicide there.
But most of the time, if the agent took the listing, they should have seen to it that it sold.
Even if the sellers insisted on the wrong price or failed to present their home in its best light, it is their previous agent’s fault. Why? Because that agent should have refused the listing if he or she knew it wouldn’t sell at the price the homeowners insisted upon. And later, if they were unable to persuade the homeowner to present the house well, they should have bowed out and canceled it.
Leading people on by letting them think the house will sell at an over-inflated price is lying. And letting them assume that it’s OK if prospective buyers have to wade over dirty laundry or be greeted by the enticing aroma of a cat’s litter box is another form of lying.
And of course, failing to market a home is inexcusable today. The Internet makes it easy and inexpensive, so an agent who fails to market is simply not doing his or her job. (Not that you can blame an agent who dosn’t put any energy into marketing an over-priced, dirty house!)
So your first task is to gain their trust.
You do that by being completely honest. First, explain the three vital components of a successful home sale:
Then talk to them about which of those components was “off” when their home was listed the last time. And of course – show them how you’ll do it right this time!
You can do it with in person meetings, but I believe in using website captures and doing drip marketing in order to let prospects get acquainted with you before they meet you in person. You can also do the same kind of marketing to sellers whose homes have shown up in the MLS expired lists. (Of course, don’t turn down an in-person meeting if they call you.)
Start with a special report that outlines “Why Didn’t it Sell?” and then in each subsequent letter, go into more detail about the steps that you would take to market their homes.
Of course, offer to talk with them about it. Offer to do a current market analysis or to walk through their home with “stagers eyes.”
Once they’ve decided to trust you, be careful. If you can see that they aren’t going to waver from a price that’s too high, or if it’s obvious that they aren’t going to do any “house beautiful” work, pass on the listing.
If you take the listing and it doesn’t sell because of price, presentation, or marketing… it will be your fault.
Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter who specializes in writing for real estate and related industries.
She’ll help you with one letter, or an entire marketing plan. For Real Estate agents and brokers who are ready to get full value from their websites, she’ll be happy to put together an entire package – from the web copy to the lead generation packages that make an agent’s phone ring.